The Official Peter Coyote Web Site

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May 20, 2013

Last month Examiner journalist Beth Pratt visited Peter's home in Marin County. She writes, "Yes, his namesake animal does wander into Peter Coyote’s backyard, along with a diverse array of critters including skunks, gray foxes, raccoons, and birds galore." For being a good neighbor to wild creatures, he's added one more achievement to his list of impressive accomplishments: an official National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat®. The program recognizes people making a difference for wildlife by creating wildlife friendly-spaces at their homes, businesses or in their communities. The article reads:

His wild menagerie (complemented with two personable cats, Jackson and Pearl) attests to his lifelong affinity for nature. “I’ve always been fascinated by animals and have felt a kinship. By the time I was eight years old I realized that everything in the world was alive and connected, and had its own business—and you didn’t interrupt it without consequences.”

A resident of Marin County in Northern California since the 1970’s, Coyote has witnessed some of the negative consequences of our actions on the natural world and considers his efforts for wildlife as simply being a good neighbor. “Habitat for wildlife is continually shrinking—I can at least provide a way station.”

After spending an afternoon with Peter at his home (nicknamed ‘The Tree House’) it’s obvious that he “walks the talk” of being a caretaker for wild things. The words of his friend Gary Snyder perhaps best describes his philosophy: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”

Indeed, the natural world and his official dwelling seem indistinguishable, an extension of each other. From the road a series of winding staircases suspended among the redwood trees overlook ferns and other lush foliage in the creek bed below. Inside the home, you feel as if you were in the comforting embrace of a giant tree trunk. Peter describes the intent of the design: “my house and my garden are built as part of nature, not over it.”

The animals have definitely noticed the welcome mat he has extended. The garden is simply the native landscape enhanced and retains the memory of days when Roosevelt elk and grizzly bears freely roamed the area. Native wildlife—albeit smaller than the historical mega-fauna—still flock to his mini-backyard nature reserve. Peter also supplements the native plants with bird feeders. The well stocked stash of sunflower seeds entice the titmice and juncos to visit, while goldfinches feed on his offerings of gourmet thistle. While we ate lunch on his deck, a Nutall’s woodpecker eyed the suet.

Small mammals also make frequent appearances. He’s witnessed raccoon and skunk families on parade in his yard (sometimes at the same time), and one raccoon, named Monica, has raised her young in his garden for four years. A gray fox has become a regular resident—he once watched her, along with her three kits, drink from a clay water bowl on his deck.

May 10, 2013

This week Peter was in Vevey, Switzerland, participating in a film called "La rançon de la gloire", directed by Xavier Beauvois. It's the story of two small-time criminals who plan to steal the coffin of Charlie Chaplin. The film is co-produced by Rita Productions in Geneva. Shooting, which will wrap up by May 15th, will take place almost entirely in the Eastern Vaud. In the above photo, Peter poses with municipal Elina Leimgruber and culture delegate Stefano Stoll on the terrace of the Three Crowns Hotel in Vevey.

If you missed HBO's HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN last year, it is now available on DVD. The film, directed by Philip Kaufman, recounts the passionate and troubled marriage of literary master Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and the up-and-coming war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman), the second of Hemingway's four wives. Their tumultuous relationship began when they met at a local Key West bar in 1936. They married in 1940 after romancing in Europe while Hemingway wrote his famous novel "For Whom The Bell Tolls" for which she was the inspiration. The film follows their epic romance through seven countries - from the Spanish Civil War and beyond. As she grew in reputation and stature, the spirited Gellhorn stood toe-to-toe with Hemingway, putting his famous bravado and iconic style to the test. Peter has the role of  literary editor Maxwell Perkins. 

April 5, 2013

As mentioned in the last update, Peter was feted in absentia at the American Film Festival. He received the "Making a Difference, One Film at a Time" award for his contributions to documentary film. Festival director Teddy Grouya said, "Peter, of course, thought it was a unique award and was extremely flattered, especially that we are acknowledging him specifically within this genre. In this genre, Peter Coyote tops them all!" Check out this link to see a video of Peter accepting the award.